Looking for a good book to put you in the Halloween spirit? Then you’re in the right place! Check out this list of scare-tastic horror reads that contain chills (and thrills)–guaranteed! Whether you’re a fan of the good old fashioned ghost story, supernatural creature freatures, psychological horror, or just plain old gore, you can find something you’ll love on this list! Again, this list is by no means comprehensive, so I’ve provided you with a few links to some great lists around the internet as well. Also, don’t forget our subscription reader’s advisory database NoveList that you can access for FREE with your library card. Enjoy!
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Enjoy “this classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre. First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House….At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers–and soon it will choose one of them to make its own”.
A Dark Matter by Peter Straub
In this novel, “the incomparable master of horror and suspense” tells the tale of the Spenser Mallon, a charismative and cunning campus guru in the 1960s, attracting the devotion and demanding sexual favors of his young acolytes. After he invites his most fervent followers to attend a secret ritual in a local meadow, the only thing that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body…
The Grin of the Dark by Ramsey Campbell
From another master of contemporary horror: “A former professor offers film critic Simon the chance of a lifetime–to write a book on one of the greatest long-lost comedians of the silent-film era, Tubby Thackeray. Simon is determined to find out the truth behind the jolly fat man’s disappearance from film–and from the world.”
Hemlock Grove, or, The Wise Wolf by Brian McGreevy
This new release is “an epic, original reinvention of the Gothic novel, taking the characters of our greatest novels, myths, and nightmares–the werewolf, the vampire, Frankenstein–and reimagining them for our time”.
Infected by Scott Sigler
In this cross between sci-fi and horror, CIA operative Dew Phillips works together with CDC epidemiologist Margaret Montoya in a race to stop the spread of a mysterious disease that is turning ordinary people into murderers. A former football player who has become infected with the deadly bioengineered parasite may carry the cure. A great, fast-paced read for fans of books about the viral apocalypse.
Haunted: A Novel of Stories by Chuck Palahniuk
Like the title implies, Haunted is indeed a novel of twenty three stories, twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach churning tales you’ll ever encounter–sometimes all at once. The stories are told by people who have answered an ad headlined “Writers’ Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months”, and who are led to believe that here they will leave hind all the distractions of ‘real life’ that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. Drawing from the literary tradition of the Villa Diodati (the event that led to the creation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), this gore fest is definitely not for the faint of heart but is sure to entertain.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
The classic horror story from Ira Levin (the movie directed by Roman Polanski is equally creepy). Whe Rosemary’s Baby was first published in 1967, Ira Levin’s masterpiece gave horror an innocent new face. It caused a worldwide sensation, found fear where we never thought to look before, and dared to bring it into the sunlight. Do you dare to discover what all the fuss is about?
Pretty much anything by Stephen King, but if you’re new to the author, try Carrie, Salem’s Lot, or The Shining. Stephen King is often called the master of horror fiction, and rightfully so. His unique and powerful narrative voice never fails to connect with, and then terrify, the reader. King is all about telling a story, and none of his stories disappoint. These are three of his earlier classics, and are great for King newcomers.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
This literary, postmodern, and stylistic horror novel is hard to describe, but many have called it the most terrifying thing they have ever read. Here is a great review from Book List: “This stunning first effort is destined for fast-track cult status. A photographers decides to create a film document of his family moving into a new home. The project runs smoothly until the interior dimensions of the house turn out to be larger than the exterior. Over time, a maze of passageways appear and disappear, perhaps inhabited by an unseen malevolent creature”. I stumbled across a review that said this book is as is Nabokov wrote the book version of The Blair Witch Project.
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth…but he is not alone. An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him. By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn…
Want more? Check out these links…
FlavorWire’s List of 10 of the Creepiest Ghosts in Literature
Complex.com’s List of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium
Charlie Higson’s Top Ten Horror Books @ The Guardian
Try horrorstew.com for all things horror as well! Happy reading!